The Oda G

This song was written by Stanley G. Triggs, who worked as a deckhand on British Columbia tugboats (Canada) in the late 1950s. According to the liner notes for his Folkways album, ‘Bunkhouse and Forecastle Songs of the Northwest’, the Oda G was a tugboat that he worked on, one of the oldest on the coast. 
Questa canzone è stata scritta da Stanley G. Triggs, che ha lavorato come abile marinaio sui rimorchiatori della British Columbia (Canada) alla fine degli anni ’50. Secondo le note di copertina del suo album della Folkways Records, “Bunkhouse and Forecastle Songs of the Northwest“, l’Oda G era un rimorchiatore su cui lavorava, uno dei più vecchi della costa. 

Stanley G. Triggs in Bunkhouse and Forecastle Songs of the Northwest1961

Ed Harcourt in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013


I
Come all you jolly tugboatmen
And listen unto me
While I tell you a story of hardships and glory
Of a lusty old life on the deep briny sea.
II
There once was a stalwart old tugboat,
Her name was the Oda G. (1)
And I’ll let you know, boys,
at pullin’ a tow, boys,
There was no huskier tugboat than she.
III
She came off the ways in ‘eighty-nine,
For storms she cared not a damn
It was boasted around,
’twas the talk of the town
That she knew that old coastline
as well as a man.
IV
Now her mate was an expert at running the logs
He ne’er seemed to come to no harm/ But he ran out of luck when he fell in the chuck (2)
With a rusty old boom-chain wrapped round his left arm.
V
Her engineer was a lazy young tramp
All day he did nothin’ but read
On the fantail (3) he sat on his young lazy prat
Till a big roarin’ wave swept him into the sea
VI
And her deckhand was paintin’ the bulwarks (4) so fine,
Paintin’ so carefully,
But he met his fate when, to admire his paintin’,
He took a step back and fell into the sea.
VII
Now her skipper, he was very fine man
At seafarin’ he was a pip
But without a crew he didn’t know what to do
So he grabbed up a lifebelt and abandoned the ship.
VIII
But the old Oda G. she kept tuggin’ along
She towed those logs down to Long Bay
And old Penney (5) hurrayed for the money he saved
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Venite voi allegri marinai dei rimorchiatori
ed ascoltatemi,
mentre vi racconto una storia di fatiche e gloria
di una vecchia dura vita in alto mare
II
C’era una volta un vecchio rimorchiatore,
il suo nome era Oda G.
e sappiate, ragazzi,
a trainare, ragazzi,
non c’era rimorchiatore più potente.
III
Venne varata nell’ottantanove,
delle tempeste non le importava un accidente
Si è vantato,
secondo le chiacchiere di città
che conoscesse quella vecchia costa
altrettanto bene di un uomo.
IV
L’ufficiale era un esperto nel far rotolare i tronchi/ non sembrava che gli venisse mai un danno/ ma fu sfortunato a cadere in mare 
con una vecchia catena di sbarramento arrugginita avvolta attorno al braccio sinistro.
V
L’ingegnere era un pigro perdigiorno/ non faceva altro che leggere in continuazione/ sul ponte di coperta si sedeva con il giovane pigro culo e una grande onda forte lo trascinò in mare
VI
L’Abile Marinaio stava dipingendo le murate tanto bene,/ dipingendo con attenzione,/ ma andò incontro al suo destino quando, per ammirare la sua pittura,/ fece un passo indietro e cadde in mare.
VII
Il comandante, era un uomo eccellente,
in mare’era uno tosto,
ma senza un equipaggio non sapeva cosa fare
così afferrò un salvagente e abbandonò la nave.
VIII
Eppure la vecchia Oda G. continuava a camminare
rimorchiò quei tronchi fino a Long Bay
e il vecchio Penney gongolò per i soldi risparmiati

NOTE (from here)
1) essendo il rimorchiatore una nave è di genere femminile così il nome
2) ‘chuck’, meaning water, is heard only in the Northwest. It comes from the Chinook jargon used in early trading. [“chuck”, che significa acqua, si sente solo nel nord-ovest. Viene dal gergo Chinook usato nei primi commerci con gli indiani.]
3) The fantail is the extreme aft (back) of the boat. On a tugboat, the aft deck is low to the water, to allow a clear run for the towlines to the winch. The fantail would be a quiet place to read, being as far as you can get on a tugboat from the sound of the engines (and the engineer’s job). [Il ponte di coperta è la parte posteriore (poppa) della barca. Su un rimorchiatore, il ponte di poppa è basso a pelo dell’acqua, per consentire una corsa libera alla catena di traino dell’argano. Di certo un posto tranquillo dove leggere, essendo il più lontano possibile dal rumore dei motori (e del lavoro dell’ingegnere).]
4) Tugboats have a narrow ledge, just wide enough to stand on, around the outside of the bulwarks (the solid ‘railing’ around the outside of the boat). You can do this by leaning sideways rather than forward to paint. You must constantly resist the impulse to take a step back to paint the way you would normally, because there is nothing behind you but air and water. [I rimorchiatori hanno una stretta sporgenza, appena larga abbastanza da stare in piedi, attorno alla murata (la solida “ringhiera” attorno alla parte esterna della barca).  Devi costantemente resistere all’impulso di fare un passo indietro per dipingere come faresti normalmente, perché non c’è niente dietro di te, solo aria e acqua.]
5) the owner [il proprietario]

LINK
http://www.shantynet.com/lyrics/the-oda-g/
http://maritimefolknet.org/cds-from-maritime-folknet/tugboat-cd/the-oda-g/

http://cfmb.icaap.org/content/30.1/BV30-1art3.pdf
http://cfmb.icaap.org/content/30.1/BV30-1art4.pdf

River Come Down (Bamboo)

Not a traditional Caribbean song but written by Dave van Ronk who has recorded this song as ‘River Come Down’ on his 1961 Folkways album FA 2383 called ‘Van Ronk Sings Earthy Ballads And Blues’. A rewrite of “River, river she come down” by Dick Weissman. Covered by Peter, Paul & Mary, Ry Cooder (naming it ‘River Come Down Aka Bamboo‘) 
The only song I ever wrote that made me any money, and I hate it. It started out as a guitar exercise, but since I usually taught songs in those days, I needed lyrics. Vaguely remembering a piece that Dick Weissman used to do on the banjo, I carelessly flung together some nonsensical doggerel and used Dick’s chorus – “River, river she come down.” My students seemed happy enough, and that should have been that, except that Peter, Paul & Mary, who were in the process of getting their act together, took a fancy to it. Renamed ‘Bamboo,’ PP&M performed it on their first album, which sold seven trillion copies. Particularly embarrassing was the way some of the pop music critics homed in on the lyrics. I cringed when they called them ‘surrealist.’ One erudite soul (I forget who) compared them with Garcia Lorca. Fortunately, the Muzak version was an instrumental. I shared the royalties (and the chagrin) with Dick.’ (from Dave’s liner notes to The Folkways Years 1969-61)” (from here)
Non è una canzone caraibica tradizionale, ma è stata scritta da Dave van Ronk che ha registrato questa canzone come “River Come Down” nel suo album intitolato “Van Ronk Sings Earthy Ballads And Blues” (1961). Una riscrittura della”River, river she come down” di Dick Weissman. Fatta come cover anche da Peter, Paul & Mary e Ry Cooder (“River Come Down Aka Bamboo”)
L’unica canzone che abbia mai scritto che mi ha fatto guadagnare dei soldi. L’ho cominciata come un esercizio di chitarra, ma dato che in quei giorni solitamente insegnavo canzoni, avevo bisogno di testi. Ricordando vagamente un pezzo che Dick Weissman faceva sul banjo, ho sbadatamente buttato giù delle  battute senza senso e ho usato il coro di Dick – “River, river she come down”. I miei studenti sembravano abbastanza felici, e sarebbe finita lì, sennonchè è piaciuta a Peter, Paul e Mary, che stavano per suonare insieme. Intitolandola ‘Bamboo’, PP & M la eseguirono nel loro primo album, che ha venduto sette trilioni di copie. Particolarmente imbarazzante il modo in cui alcuni critici della musica pop si sono concentrati sui testi. Un’anima erudita (ho dimenticato chi) li ha paragonati a Garcia Lorca, ma fortunatamente la versione Muzak è stata strumentale. Ho condiviso i diritti d’autore (e il dispiacere) con Dick. ” (dalle note di copertina di Dave a “The Folkways Years 1969-61”)

Dick Weissman vs Dave van Ronk

The Journeymen (John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Dick Weissman)) 1961


Chorus
River oh river She come down
River oh river She come down
I (x2)
My gal’s across the river,
my gal’s across the river
My gal’s across the river,
Won’t you come over
Head on, won’t you come home
II
Build a raft of bamboo,
Build a raft of bamboo
Build a raft of bamboo
Float it across the river
Head on, float it across the river
III
Floating across the river
Floating across the river
Floating across the river
See her come over
Head on, see her come over
IV
Will dance on the bank side
Will dance on the bank side
Will dance on the bank side
Glad you come over
Head on, glad you came over
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Coro
Fiume, oh fiume lei scende 
Fiume, oh fiume lei scende 
I
La mia ragazza è sul fiume
La mia ragazza è sul fiume
La mia ragazza è sul fiume
non passerai,
a testa alta verso casa?
II
Costruisci una zattera di bamboo,
Costruisci una zattera di bamboo,
Costruisci una zattera di bamboo,
falla galleggiare sul fiume
a testa alta, falla galleggiare sul fiume
III
Galleggiare sul fiume,
Galleggiare sul fiume,
Galleggiare sul fiume,
guardala passare,
a testa alta, guardala passare
IV
Balleremo sugli argini
Balleremo sugli argini
Balleremo sugli argini
sono contento che tu sia venuta
a testa alta, sono contento che tu sia venuta

Dave van Ronk in “Van Ronk Sings” album (1961)

Son Of Rogues Gallery

Beth Orton in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013


I (x2)
You take a stick of bamboo,
you take a stick of bamboo
You take a stick of bamboo
and you throw it in the water
Oh oh Hanaah (1)
Chorus
River oh river
She come down
River oh river
She come down
II (x2)
You travel on the river,
you travel on the river
You travel on the river,
you travel on the water
Oh oh Hanaah
III (x2)
My home’s across the river,
my home’s across the river
My home’s across the river,
my home’s across the water
Oh oh Hanaah
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Prendi un bastone di bamboo,
prendi un bastoni di bamboo
prendi un bastone di bamboo
e gettalo in acqua
oh, oh Hanaah
Coro
Fiume, oh fiume
lei scende (tramonta)
Fiume, oh fiume
lei scende (tramonta)
II
Viaggi sul fiume,
viaggi sul fiume
viaggi sul fiume
viaggi sull’acqua
oh, oh Hanaah
III
La mia casa è sul fiume
La mia casa è sul fiume
La mia casa è sul fiume
La mia casa è sull’acqua
oh, oh Hanaah

NOTE
1) the sun (see go down, old Hannah)

LINK
http://www.alwaysontherun.net/beth.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=7273

With Waefu’ Heart

With “With Waefu ‘Heart” Robert Tannahill composes a painful sea song in which a woman complains about the drowning of her Jamie following the sinking near the isle of May: the ship had just set sail from North Berwick when in the night a terrible storm sank it with all the crew. So she asks a boatman to take her to the island to stay near his grave.
Con “With Waefu’ Heart” Robert Tannahill compone una dolente sea song in cui una donna si lamenta per l’annegamento del suo Jamie a seguito del naufragio nei pressi dell’isolotto di May: la nave era appena salpata da Nord Berwick quando nella notte una terribile tempesta l’affondò con tutto l’equipaggio. Così lei chiede ad un barcaiolo di trasportarla sull’isola per restare accanto alla sua tomba. 

Isle of May

Isle of May is located north of the Firth of Forth, about 8 km off the coast of Scotland not far from Edinburgh, it is a paradise for puffins and abundant colonies of seabirds.
L’isola di
Maggio si trova a nord del Firth of Forth, a circa 8 km al largo della costa della Scozia non lontana da Edimburgo, è il paradiso dei puffins e di abbondanti colonie di uccelli marini.

Air, “Sweet Annie frae the sea beach came.”—Arranged by Smith
Ed Heslam, Jean Altshuler in ‘Hunsup Through the Wood’, 2017

Wendy Weatherby in The Complete Songs of Robert Tannahill Volume I  (2006) 


I
With waefu’ heart, and sorrowing e’e,
⁠I saw my Jamie sail awa’;
O ‘twas a fatal day to me,
⁠That day he pass’d the
Berwick Law:
How joyless now seem’d all behind!
⁠I ling’ring stray’d along the shore;
Dark boding fears hung on my mind
⁠That I might never see him more.
II
The night came on with heavy rain,
⁠Loud, fierce, and wild, the tempest blew;
In mountains roll’d the awful main—
⁠Ah, hapless maid! my fears how true!
The landsmen heard their drowning cries,
⁠The wreck was seen with dawning day;
My love was found, and now he lies
⁠Low in the isle of gloomy May.
III
O boatman, kindly waft (1) me o’er!
⁠The cavern’d rock shall be my home;
‘Twill ease my burthen’d (2) heart, to pour
⁠Its sorrows o’er his grassy tomb
With sweetest flowers I’ll deck his grave,
⁠And tend them through the langsome year,
I’ll water them ilk morn and eve,
⁠With deepest sorrow’s wannest tear.
Traduzione italiano Cattia Salto
I
Con cuore afflitto e occhio in lacrime
vidi il mio Jamie salpare
Oh fu un giorno fatale per me
quel giorno che doppiò Berwick Law:
come ora sembrava tutto senza gioia
io che indugiavo per la spiaggia;
e oscuri timori si aggrappavano alla mia mente
che non lo avrei mai più rivisto!
II
Venne la notte con forti piogge,/fragorosa, fiera e selvaggia imperversava la tempesta,
le onde orribili si sollevavano in montagne-
Oh sfortunata fanciulla! Così reali le mie paure!
I terricoli sentirono le grida degli affogati
il relitto fu visto all’alba
il mio amore fu trovato e ora giace
sottoterra nella tenebrosa isola di May.
III
O barcaiolo, ti prego prendimi a bordo!
La grotta rocciosa sarà la mia casa
per alleviare il mio cuore oppresso e riversare
il suo dolore sulla zolla d’erba
con i fiori più profumati decorerò la tomba
e li manterrò per l’intero anno
innaffiandoli mattino e sera
con il più cupo dolore in una lacrima esangue

NOTE
1) waft= to convey something by ship
2) burthen’d= burdened

LINK
https://roberttannahill.weebly.com/wi-waefu-heart.html

Bonny Portmore: the ornament tree

Leggi in italiano

When the great oak of Portmore was break down in 1760, someone wrote a song known as “The Highlander’s Farewell to Bonny Portmore“; in 1796 Edward Bunting picked it up from Daniel Black, an old harpist from Glenoak (Antrim, Northern Ireland), and published it in “Ancient Music of Ireland” – 1840.
The age-old oak was located on the estate of Portmore’s Castle on the banks of Lugh Bege and it was knocked down by a great wind; the tree was already famous for its posture and was nicknamed “the ornament tree“. The oak was cut and the wood sold, from the measurements made we know that the trunk was 13 meters wide.

LOUGH PORTMORE

1032910_tcm9-205039Loch un Phoirt Mhóir (lake with a large landing place) is an almost circular lake in the South-West of Antrim County, Northern Ireland, today a nature reserve for bird protection.
The property formerly belonged to the O’Neill clan of Ballinderry, while the castle was built in 1661 or 1664 by Lord Conway (on the foundations of an ancient fortress) between Lough Beg and Lough Neagh; the estate was rich in centenarian trees and beautiful woods; however, the count fell into ruin and lost the property when he decided to drain Lake Ber to cultivate the land (the drainage system called “Tunny cut” is still existing); the ambitious project failed and the land passed into the hands of English nobles.
In other versions more simply the Count’s dynasty became extinct and the new owners left the estate in a state of neglect, since they did not intend to reside in Ireland. Almost all the trees were cut down and sold as timber for shipbuilding and the castle fell into disrepair.

Bonny Portmore could be understood symbolically as the decline of the Irish Gaelic lords: pain and nostalgia mixed in a lament of a twilight beauty; the dutiful tribute goes to Loreena McKennitt who brought this traditional iris  song to the international attention.
Loreena McKennitt in The Visit 1991
Nights from the Alhambra: live

CHORUS
O bonny Portmore,
you shine where you stand
And the more I think on you the more I think long
If I had you now as I had once before
All the lords in Old England would not purchase Portmore.
I
O bonny Portmore, I am sorry to see
Such a woeful destruction of your ornament tree
For it stood on your shore for many’s the long day
Till the long boats from Antrim came to float it away.
II
All the birds in the forest they bitterly weep
Saying, “Where will we shelter or where will we sleep?”
For the Oak and the Ash (1), they are all cutten down
And the walls of bonny Portmore are all down to the ground.
NOTE
1) coded phrase to indicate the decline of the Gaelic lineage clans

Laura Marling live
Laura Creamer

Lucinda Williams in Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys ANTI 2006


Dan Gibson & Michael Maxwell in Emerald Forest instrumental version
And here I open a small parenthesis recalling a personal episode of a long time ago in which I met an ancient tree: at the time I lived in Florence and I had the opportunity to turn a bit for Tuscany, now I can not remember the location, but I know that I was in the Colli Senesi and it was summer; someone advised us to go and see an old holm oak, explaining roughly to the road; in the distance it seemed we were approaching a grove, in reality it was a single tree whose foliage was so leafy and vast, the old branches so bent, that to get closer to the trunk we had to bow. I still remember after many years the feeling of a presence, a deep and vital breath, and the discomfort that I tried to disturb the place. I do not exaggerate speaking of fear at all, and I think that feeling was the same feeling experienced by the ancient man, who felt in the centenarian trees the presence of a spirit.
SOURCE
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/immie/bonny.html
http://www.sentryjournal.com/2010/10/11/the-fate-of-bonny-portmore/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=15567
http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/p/portmorelough/about.aspx

Dark-Eyed Sailor, a reily ballad

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The song also known as “Fair Phoebe and her Dark-Eyed Sailor” originally from England, and is dated to a good approximation at the end of the nineteenth century. It is classified as a reily ballad or broken token ballad (because of the love pledge exchanged between the two lovers) on the model of a “return song” that was already the most popular in Classical times: in most of these ballads the man returns home after many years of absence at sea (war), and, not recognized by the woman, he puts her loyalty to the test. The girl, as a serious girl, refuses his courting because she has already been promised. The man so reassured, reveals himself to the woman and the two crown their love with marriage.

sailor-returnThe ballad recalls the archetypal figures of Ulysses and Penelope, when Ulysses, returned twenty years after the war (and his vicissitudes in the seas) to his Ithaca in disguise, is not recognized by his wife.

Collected in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and North America according to A.L. Lloyd all versions have a common matrix in the ballad published on a broadside printed by James Catnach (London 1813-1838) Flanders in “The New Green Mountain Songster” observes”The air to which it is almost universally sung, both in the old-country and American tradition, belongs to another ballad, “The Female Smuggler“.

Steeleye Span from “Hark! The Village Wait” (1970)

Christy Moore from Prosperus 1972

Quilty ( I, II, IV, VI, VII)

Olivia Chaney live The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions

I
As I went a walking (roved out ) one evening fair,
it being the summer(time) to take the air/I spied a female (maiden) with a sailor boy/and I stood to listen, I stood to listen/to hear what they might say.
II
He said “Young maiden (fair lady)
now why do you roam
all along by yonder Lee?”
She heaved a sigh and the tears they did roll, / “For my dark eyed sailor,
he ploughs the stormy seas.”
III
“‘Tis seven long years(1) since he left this land,
A ring he took from off his lily-white hand.(2)
One half of the ring is still here with me,
But the other’s rollin’
at the bottom of the sea.”
IV
He said “You can drive him from your mind/for another young man you surely will find.
Love turns a sight and it soon grows cold/ Like a winter’s morning
the hills are white with snow.”
V
She said “I’ll never forsake my dear
Although we’re parted this many a year/ Genteel(3) he was and a rake(4) like you/ To induce a maiden
to slight the jacket blue(5).”
VI
One half of the ring did young William show
She ran distracted in grief and woe
Sayin’ “William, William, I have gold in store(6)/ For my dark-eyed sailor
has proved his honour long”
VII
There is a cottage by yonder Lee,
the couple live there and do agree.
So maids be true when your lover’s at sea,
For a stormy morning
brings on a sunny day.
NOTES
1) Seven is a recurring number in ballads to indicate the duration of a separation. The reference to the number seven is not accidental: it is a magic or symbolic number linked to death or change. If a husband left for the war and did not return within seven years, the wife could remarry.
2) in this kind of ballads often appears an object through which the two lovers are recognized, either a gift exchanged or a ring broken in half as in this case
3) for gentle
4) A “rake” was a charming young lover of women, of songs, dedicated to gambling and alcohol, but also a lifestyle of fashion among the English nobles during the 17th century. And yet it is also a term used in a positive sense
5) wearing the blue jacket of the British sailor’s uniform
6) in other versions”I’ve lands and gold For my dark-eyed sailor so manly, true and bold

LINK
https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/fair-young-maid-garden/
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/maine-lumberjacks/songs-ballads%20-%200208.htm
http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getfolk.php?id=926 http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=80849 http://www.itma.ie/inishowen/song/dark_eyed_sailor_kate_doherty http://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/thedarkeyedsailor.html http://www.christymoore.com/lyrics/dark-eyed-sailor/
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/13/sailor.htm http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=149660 https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LN35.html

Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold

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TITLES: Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold, Groline and Her Young Sailor Bold, The Young Sailor Bold, The Nobleman ‘s Daughter, Caroline and Her Young Sailor Boy, A Rich Nobleman’s Daughter’, Young Caroline and The Sailor
sailor-pic
A love story between a young girl who denies her noble and wealthy family and her wealthy life for the love of a young and handsome sailor. For fear he forgets her, she embarks on the ship disguised as a sailor. When their ship returns to the port of London, the girl goes to her parents to request consent to their marriage.
The theme was very popular among the nineteenth-century broadside and the ballad was popularized by the popular tradition of England, Ireland, Scotland and North America. The melody combined with the text is not unique, here are reported only two: fromJoe Heaney (Rosin The Beau) and from Sara Makem (recorded by Bill Leader at the home of Sara, Keady, County of Armagh in 1967).

The cross-dressing ballads decline the theme of the disguise often combined with the sailor’s (sometimes soldier) farewell with the woman who begs him to take her with him, willing to dress up as a man to stand beside him; the image of a woman-warrior and strong, supported by the power of love and therefore willing to go against her family and social conventions is more a story from a novel than an actual chronicle, the women in those times were subdued to the father first and to the husband later, and very few could win the economic independence (there were then the poor ones who did not care about anyone and who ended up badly in the middle of a street, making all kind of work to barely manage to feed the children). These were the times of marriages combined by families and were based on appropriate alliances and young women were not allowed to fall in love with a handsome black-eyed sailor!

Sarah Makem from Sea Song and Shanties 1994

Andrea Corr from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006.

Joe Heaney 1964 (here)

I
There lived a rich Nobleman’s daughter/
Caroline is her name we are told/
One day from her drawing room window
She admired a young sailor bold
II
She cried – “I’m a Nobleman’s daughter
My income’s five thousand in gold
I forsake both my father and mother
And I’ll marry young sailor bold”
III
Says William- “Fair lady remember
Your parents you are bound to mind
In sailors there is no dependence
For they leave their true lovers behind”
IV
And she says – “There’s no one could prevent me/
One moment to alter my mind/
In the ships I’ll be off with my true love/
He never will leave me behind”
 
V
Three years and a half on the ocean
And she always proved loyal and true
Her duty she did like a sailor
Dressed up in her jacket of blue
VI
When at last they arrived back in England
Straightway to her father she went
“Oh father dear father forgive me
Deprive me forever of gold
Just grant me one favor I ask you
To marry a young sailor bold”
VII
Her father looked upon young William
And love and in sweet unity
“If I be spared till Tomorrow
It’s married this couple shall be”.

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/carolineandheryoungsailorbold.html
http://www.thecopperfamily.com/songs/collected/caroline.html
http://www.joeheaney.org/default.asp?contentID=742
http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/caroline_young_sailor_bold_pegmcmahon.htm
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/15/caroline.htm
https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LN17.html
http://www.johnmorrish.com/folkhandbook/sailors.html

“Fire Down Below” the last shanty

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“Fire Down Below” in addition to being the title of a film and a rock song is above all a sea shanty) according to Stan Hugill “the laswt shanty”. Given the theme it was often used as pump chanty but also as capstan chanty.

JOHN SHORT VERSION

The authors of the project “Short Sharps Shanties” write: There was a broadside called Fire! Fire! Fire! – printed by the Glasgow Poet’s Box on the 23rd Nov. 1867.  Versions were also printed by Fortey of London and Sanderson of Edinburgh at about the same time. The chorus is obviously related to, if not the origin of, the shanty:Fire! fire! fire!, Now I’s bound to go;
Can’t you give us a bucket of water,
Dere’s a fire down below.
The text is in a faux-Negro patois and describes Aunt Sally nearly dying in a house-fire.  There was also a parody, printed by Such of London at about the same time, where the text is concerned with a country boy’s encounter with a city girl and the more familiar ‘fire down below’ caused by venereal disease.
Fire! fire! fire!, Fire down below;
Let us hope that we shall never see,
A fire down below.
Perhaps surprisingly, neither theme seems to recur in any of the collected versions of the shanty although plenty of contemporary shanty-singers adopt a nudge-nudge-wink-wink view of the chorus. Tozer and Sharp give it as a pumping shanty, Hugill cites it as a favourite for the purpose, and Colcord says that “Almost any of the capstan shanties could be used on the pump-brakes, but a few were kept [as this one is], by the force of convention, for no other use.”
Hugill comments that, of his five versions, Short’s version has “a not so musical pattern. This form has become popular with radio shanty-singers.”  All verses except the last come from Short although, inexplicably, he only gave Sharp the ‘fire in the galley’ verse on the day and subsequently sent him, by post, the other four verses. (tratto da qui)

Jackie Oates from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor Vol 1 (su Spotify)

Chorus
Fire, fire, fire down below,
It’s Fetch a bucket of water girls
There’s fire down below.
I
Fire in the galley, fire down below.
It’s fetch a bucket of water girls,
There’s fire down below.
fire, fire..
II
Fire in the bottom fire in the main
It’s fetch a bucket of water girls,
And put it out again.
fire, fire..
III
As I walked out one morning
all in the month of June
I overheard an irish girl
sing this old song
fire, fire..
IV
Fire in the lifeboat,
fire in the gig(6),
Fire in the pig-stye roasting of the pig.
fire, fire..
V
Fire up aloft boy  and fire down below,
It’s fetch a bucket of water girls,
There’s fire down below.


Shanty Gruppe Breitling
from Haul the Bowline 2013 


Fire in the galley, fire in the house,
Fire in the beef kid(1), scorching the scouse(2).
Fire, fire, fire down below,
Fetch a bucket of water boys
Fire down below.
Fire in the forepeak(3) fire in the main(4)
fire in the windlass(5) fire in the chain.
Fire in the lifeboat, fire in the gig(6),
Fire in the pig-stye roasting the pig.
Fire on the orlop(7) (cabine) fire in the hold.
Fire in the strong room melting the gold.
Fire round the capstan(5), fire on the mast,
Fire on the main deck, burning it fast.
Fire on .. 

NOTES
1) Beefkid = small wooden tub in which beef salt is served.
2) It is a traditional dish of Liverpool, that is a meat stew with potatoes, onions, carrots. It is a popular dish of poor cooking. Scouse is also the typical accent of Liverpool (of the popular classes) with clear Celtic influences, the origin of the accent is derived most likely from the English pronunciation by Irish immigrants arrived in Liverpool to look for work. In the 1841 census a quarter of the inhabitants of Liverpool were born in Ireland and again from the census at the beginning of the twenty-first century it was found that 60% of Liverpudlians originated in Ireland.
3) forepeak= the interior part of a vessel that is furthest forward; the part of a ship’s interior in the angle of the bow
4) main= ocean
5) windlass and capstan they are two different “machines” which, however, perform the same function, that of lifting weights by the use of a rope or chain.
6) gig= A light rowboat, powerboat or sailboat, often used as a fast launch for the captain or for a lighthouse keeper. The gig was always designed for speed, and was not used as a working boat.
7) orlop = the name of a lower deck.

CARIBBEAN VERSION

This version comes from the Caribbean fishermen from the Isle of Nevis (reported by Roger Abrahams in “Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore”)
Hulton Clint

FOLK VERSION

A decadent version that with the “fire in the lower parts” alludes to the disruptive sexuality of a young girl!

Nick Cave from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys  ANTI 2006.

She was the parson’s daughter
With her red and rosy cheeks
(Way, hey, hee, hi, ho!)
She went to church on Sunday
And sang the anthem sweet
(‘Cause there’s fire down below)
The parson was a misery
So scraggy and so thin
“Look here, you motherfuckers
If you lead a life of sin.
He took his text from Malachi(1)
And pulled a weary face
Well, I fucked off for Africa
And there, I feel(2) from grace.
The parson’s little daughter
Was as sweet as sugar-candy
I said to her, “us sailors
Would make lovers neat and handy”.
She says to me, “you sailors
Are a bunch of fucking liars
And all of you are bound to hell
To feed the fucking fires”.
Well, there’s fire down below, my lad
So we must do what we oughta
‘Cause the fire is not half as hot
As the parson’s little daughter.
Yes, there’s fire (fire)
Down (down)
Below (below)

NOTES
1) Malachi was an Old Testament Prophet who lived in the fifth century a. C.
2) found written both as a feel and as a fell

LINK
http://www.bethsnotesplus.com/2015/01/fire-down-below.html
http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/songs/783.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/19/fire.htm
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=2020
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=35083
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or32B_IZWKs
https://ismaels.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/rogue%E2%80%99s-gallery-the-art-of-the-siren-4/

Blow the Wind Southerly

Read the post in English

Blow the Wind Southerly card, disegno di Natalie Reid

Una vecchia melodia del Border (Northumbrian Folk Song) “Blow The Wind Southerly” con un testo andato in stampa nel 1834 nella raccolta The Bishoprick Garland compilata da Sir Cuthbert Sharpe, resa famosa da Kathleen Ferrier (che la registrò nel 1949); così scrive Robert Cummings “il testo di Blow the Wind Southerly u pubblicato per la prima volta in Inghilterra in una raccolta del 1834, canzoni, ballate e vari altri scritti, intitolata “The Bishoprick Garland” a cura di J. Ritson. In realtà, solo una piccola parte di quella poesia è stata usata per questa canzone tradizionale. La melodia probabilmente precede le origini del testo del diciannovesimo secolo. Gli autori di entrambe le parole e la musica sono anonimi, ma la canzone può essere rintracciata nella Contea del Northumbria, nel nord dell’Inghilterra. La piacevole melodia del ritmo è adorabile nel suo fascino sentimentale e nei modi spensierati e folk. Ha un contorno a forma di U [il fraseggio della melodia è a forma di U] e, stranamente, la sua frase di chiusura ha una sorprendente somiglianza con le ultime note della famosa melodia di “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. I due temi sono d’altra parte di una diversa espressione emotiva, Blow the Wind Southerly è a stento gioviale nel suo significato di desiderio, ma è dolce e leggero nella sua malinconia. Il testo parla di una giovane donna che implora il vento di soffiare a sud per portare a riva la nave del suo amante. Questa deliziosa canzone piacerà alla maggior parte degli ascoltatori interessati alla canzone tradizionale.” (tratto da qui)

Una melodia romantica ma triste che è eseguita spesso nel canto lirico con ensemble orchestrali o cameristici: sebbene la versione in frammento non sia esplicita, sappiamo che si tratta di un lamento, l’uomo è morto in mare e la donna che canta ritorna ossessivamente a scrutare il mare nella vana speranza del suo ritorno.

Andreas Scholl & Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Wayfaring Stranger – Folksongs 2001

Lisa Hannigan live, 


Chorus
Blow the wind southerly,
southerly, southerly,
Blow the wind south
o’er the bonny blue sea;
Blow the wind southerly,
southerly, southerly,
Blow bonnie breeze, my lover to me.
I
They told me last night
there were ships in the offing,
And I hurried down
to the deep rolling sea;
But my eye could not see
it wherever might be it,
The barque (1) that is bearing
my lover to me.
II
I stood by the lighthouse
the last time we parted,
Till darkness came down
o’er the deep rolling sea,
And no longer I saw
the bright bark of my lover.
Blow, bonny breeze
and bring him to me.
III
Oh, is it not sweet to hear
the breeze singing,
As lightly it comes
o’er the deep rolling sea?
But sweeter and dearer by far
when ‘tis bringing,
The barque of my true love
in safety to me.
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Coro
Soffia vento del Sud,
del Sud, del Sud
soffia vento del sud
sul mare azzurro
Soffia vento del Sud,
del Sud, del Sud
portami dolce brezza, il mio amore
I
Mi hanno detto ieri sera
che c’erano delle navi in vista
e mi sono precipitata giù
verso il mare profondo,
ma i miei occhi non riuscivano a scorgere dove potesse essere
il brigantino che porta
il mio amore verso di me
II
Stavo accanto al faro
l’ultima volta che ci siamo separati finchè sopraggiunse l’oscurità
sul mare profondo
e non vedevo più
il bel brigantino del mio amore.
Soffia dolce brezza
e portalo da me!
III
Oh non è dolce sentire
mormorare la brezza
mentre leggera
viene sul mare profondo?
Ma di gran lunga più dolce e cara quando porta
il brigantino del mio amore
in salvo da me.

NOTE
1) barque significa genericamente barca (bark) e nello specifico indica un brigantino (o brigantino a palo)

Stessa melodia per THE BOSTON COME-ALL-YE

FONTI
https://musescore.com/churchorganist/scores/156777
https://www.8notes.com/scores/3606.asp

Blow The Wind Southerly

Blow the Wind Southerly card, design from Natalie Reid

Leggi in italiano

An old melody of the Border (Northumbrian Folk Song) “Blow The Wind Southerly” with a text printed in 1834 in the collection “The Bishoprick Garland” compiled by Sir Cuthbert Sharpe, made famous by Kathleen Ferrier (who recorded it in 1949); Robert Cummings writes  “The text to Blow the Wind Southerly was first published in England in an 1834 collection of songs, ballads, and various other writings called The Bishoprick Garland and was edited by J. Ritson. Actually, only a small part of that poem was used for this traditional song. The melody probably predates the early nineteenth century origins of the text. The authors of both the words and music are anonymous, but the song can be traced to Northumbrian County in northern England. The leisurely paced melody is lovely in its sentimental charm and carefree, folk-ish manner. It has a U-shaped contour, and, oddly, its closing phrase bears a striking resemblance to the last notes in the famous melody to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The two themes are otherwise of a different emotional cast, Blow the Wind Southerly is hardly jovial in its sense of longing, but it is gentle and light in its melancholy. The text speaks of a young woman beseeching the wind to blow southerly to bring her lover’s ship to shore. This delightful song will appeal to most listeners with an interest in traditional song.” (from here)

A romantic but sad melody that is often performed in lyric singing with orchestral or chamber ensembles: although the fragmented version is not explicit, we know that it is a lament, the man died at sea and the singing woman returns obsessively to scrutinize the sea in the vain hope of his return.

Andreas Scholl & Orpheus Chamber Orchestra from Wayfaring Stranger – Folksongs 2001

Lisa Hannigan live, 


Chorus
Blow the wind southerly,
southerly, southerly,
Blow the wind south
o’er the bonny blue sea;
Blow the wind southerly,
southerly, southerly,
Blow bonnie breeze, my lover to me.
I
They told me last night
there were ships in the offing,
And I hurried down
to the deep rolling sea;
But my eye could not see
it wherever might be it,
The barque (1) that is bearing
my lover to me.
II
I stood by the lighthouse
the last time we parted,
Till darkness came down
o’er the deep rolling sea,
And no longer I saw
the bright bark of my lover.
Blow, bonny breeze
and bring him to me.
III
Oh, is it not sweet to hear
the breeze singing,
As lightly it comes
o’er the deep rolling sea?
But sweeter and dearer by far
when ‘tis bringing,
The barque of my true love
in safety to me.

NOTE
1) barque generally means boat (bark) and specifically indicates a brig 

Same melody of THE BOSTON COME-ALL-YE

LINK
https://musescore.com/churchorganist/scores/156777
https://www.8notes.com/scores/3606.asp

The Dreadnought shanty

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A sea song about The Dreadnought an American packet ship launched in 1853, flagship of the “Red Cross Line”, dubbed “The Wild Boat of the Atlantic”: competing companies like the Swallow Tail and the Black Ball never succeeded in exceed its performance. Yet the era of the great sailing ships was over and her life seems to be the swan song.

A red cross, the company’s logo, was drawn on her fore-topsail, and she could carry up to 200 passengers.

Montague Dawson (1890–1973) The Red Cross – ‘Dreadnought

The Dreadnought sailed into the Atlantic, mostly on the New York-Liverpoo route, to her sinking to the infamous Cape Horn after she set sail from Liverpool to San Francisco (1869).

Derry Down, Down, Derry Down

According to Stan Hugill this song was a forebitter sung on the melody known as “La Pique” or “The Flash Frigate” (which recalls “Villikins and His Dinah”). Even Kipling in his book “Captains Courageous” has it sing by fishermen on the Banks of Newfoundland.
In the capstan shanty version a longer refrain is added, sung in chorus
Bound away! Bound away! 
where the wide [wild] waters flow,
Bound away to the west’ard
in the Dreadnaught we’ll go!

The melody with which the shanty is associated is not univocal, since the “The Dom Pedro” tune is also used. The forebitter version bears the refrain of a single verse, a nonsense phrase sometimes used in the most ancient ballads. The melody is sad, looking like a lament to the memory of a famous wrecked ship; while praising her merits it’s a farewell at the time of sailing ships, now outclassed by steam ships.

Ewan MacColl

Iggy Pop & Elegant Too  from “Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys” ANTI 2013


The Dreadnoughts,
the Vancouver band took its name not from the nineteenth-century packet ship but from an innovative battle ship called “armored monocaliber” developed since the early twentieth century (Dreadnought, from English “I fear nothing”)
(stanzas I, III, IV, V)

full version (here)
I
There’s a flash packet,
a flash packet of fame,
She hails to (from) New York
and the Dreadnought’s her name;
She’s bound to the westward
where the strong winds blow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the westward we go.
Derry down, down, down derry down.
II
Now, the Dreadnought
she lies in the river Mercey,
Waiting for the Independence
to tow her to sea;
Out around the Rock Light
where the salt tides do flow,
Bound away to to the westward
in the Dreadnought, we’ll go.
III (1)
(O, the Dreadnought’s a-howlin’
down the wild Irish Sea,
Her passengers merry,
with hearts full of glee,)
As sailors like lions
walk the decks to and fro,
She’s the Liverpool packet,
O Lord, let her go!
 

IV (2)
O, the Dreadnought’s a-sailin’
the Atlantic so wide,
While the high roaring seas
roll along her black sides,
(With her sails tightly set
for the Red Cross to show,
She’s the Liverpool packet,
O Lord, let her go!)
V
Now, a health to the Dreadnought,
to all her brave crew,
To bold Captain Samuel (3),
his officers, too,
Talk about your flash packets,
Swallowtail and Black Ball (4),
The Dreadnaught’s the flier
that outsails them all.

NOTES
1)  TheDreadnoughts sings:
With the gale at her back/ What a sight does she make
A skippin’ so merry/With the west in her wake
2)  the Dreadnoughts sings:
With her sails tight as wires/And the Black Flag to show
All away to the Dreadnought/To the westward we’ll go
3) her first captain was called Samuel Samuels,, “In his own words: “Swearing, which appeared to me so essential in the make-up of an officer, I found degrading in a gentleman and I prohibited its indulgence. I also insisted that the crew should be justly treated by the officers.” He seems to have known when to turn a blind eye to the particular brand of justice which had to be handed out to over-troublesome “packet rats” by his mates. To the passengers and his officers he was the model of the young clipper captain, respected, well-groomed and quietly spoken, but always perfectly self-confident and calm in an emergency. The Dreadnought undoubtedly owed her conspicuous success at a difficult time to the personality of her master.(from here) the Dreadnoughts sings ” To bold captain Willy”
4) companies competing in the “Red Cross Line”

STAN HUGILL VERSION

Hulton Clint sings it on the tune “Dom Pedro.” It is the most extensive version of the previous one, with some variations

I
There’s a saucy wild packet,
a packet of fame;
She belongs to New York,
and the Dreadnought’s her name;
She is bound to the westward
where the wide water flow;
Bound away to the west’ard
in the Dreadnought we’ll go.
Chorus
Derry down, down, down derry down
II
The time of her sailing
is now drawing nigh;
Farewell, pretty maids,
we must bid you good-bye;
Farewell to old England
and all we hold dear,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll steer.
III
And now we are hauling
out of Waterlock dock,
Where the boys and the girls
on the pierheads they do flock;
They will give us their cheers
as their tears they do flow,
Saying, “God bless the Dreadnought, where’er she may go!”
IV
Now, the Dreadnought she lies
in the Mersey so free,
Waiting for the Independence
to tow her to sea,
For to around that rock light
where the Mersey does flow,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
where’er we’ll go.
V
Now the Dreadnaught’s a-howling
down the wild Irish Sea,
Where the passengers are merry,
their hearts full of glee,
her sailors like tigers
walk the decks to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
VI
Now, the Dreadnought’s
a-sailing the Atlantic so wide,
While the high rolling seas
roll along her black sides,
With her topsails set taut
for the Red Cross to show
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
 

VII
Now the Dreadnought’s has reached the banks of Newfoundland,
Where the water’s so green
and the bottom so sand;
Where the fish in the waves
They swim to and fro,
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
with the ice and the snow
VIII
Now the Dreadnought’s lying
on the long .. shore
??
as we have done before
? your main topsail ?
Bound away in the Dreadnought,
to the west’ard we’ll go
IX
And now we arrived
in New York once more,
We’ll go to the land we adore,
we call for strong liquors
and merry we’ll be
Drink to the health to the Dreadnought, where’er she may be.
X
So here’s health to the Dreadnought
and all her brave crew;
To bold Captain Samuels
and his officers too.
Talk about your flash packets, Swallowtail and Black Ball,
but the Dreadnought’s
he clipper to beat one and all
XI
Now my story is finish
and my tale it is told
forgive me, old shipmates,
if you think that I’m bold;
for this song was composed
while the watch was below
and at the health
in the Dreadnought we’ll go.

LINK
http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/LD13.html
http://www.shippingwondersoftheworld.com/dreadnought.html
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/sea-shanty/Dreadnought.htm
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/dread.html
http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/isingofa.htm
http://czteryrefy.pl/data/dskgrtx/teksty/eteksty/eng_flashfrigate.html
http://www.boundingmain.com/lyrics/dreadnaught.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=62355
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85200